Horse Racing

Tamworth preview: Trainer Jan Bowen is confident Zakor is ready to show his best

Jan Bowen is entitled to be biased when it comes to Zakor; after all, she bred him, part owns him and she trains him.

Bowen’s high regard her two-year-old son of Golden Rose winner Epaulette could soon be shared should Zakor perform to expectation in Tuesday’s The Magic Pudding Maiden (1000m) at Tamworth.

Zakor hasn’t raced since his eye-catching and somewhat dramatic debut in a deep race at Newcastle over 900m on February 27.

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Trainer Jan Bowen is confident Zakor will run a big race at Tamworth on Tuesday. Photo: Simon Bullard/AAP ImageSource:AAP

Sadly, his mission to win last month’s coveted Starmaker had to be aborted at the last minute when the gelding knocked himself about during some down time at Bowen’s Muswellbrook headquarters.

“He got cast in his box, you wouldn’t believe it, it is only the good ones that do that,” Bowen said.

“I had big plans for him beforehand but when things went amiss, it just sort of buggered that up. He’s had a few little issues along the away but he is going good now and it’s full steam ahead.”

Zakor was incredibly impressive winning a trial at Muswellbrook 17-days before his Newcastle debut where he drew 13 of 14.

Zakor raced handy and looked a genuine medal contender before losing his compass in the straight yet was still only two-and-half lengths off the winner, Latino Blend, at the finish.

“He took that little left hand turn and was off-balance but when he got balanced up he was coming again on the line,” said Bowen.

“I expect him to run a big race on Tuesday.”

Bowen is also represented at Tamworth by the siblings, Timion and Lionsteps.

The six-year-old Timion is edging closer to $100,000 in earnings while his three-year-old sister Lionsteps is searching for her first win despite some close calls in the past.

Sidestep is the sire of Lionsteps who is chasing her maiden win at Tamworth on Tuesday. Photo: Quentin Jones/AAP ImageSource:AAP

Lionsteps, a daughter of Kiamich’s sire Sidestep, has placed at five of her eights starts, often while competing in some unusually strong maidens in and around the Hunter and Northern Tablelands area.

Lionstep hasn’t fared well in the barrier stakes, 14 to be exact, minus the obligatory scratchings in Tuesday’s capacity TAB.com.au Maiden (1200m).

“I think she will run a big race,” says Bowen.

“The (wide barrier) probably won’t worry her too much being out there with her style of racing.

“She will be doing her best, a bit of luck in the running is all you need.”

Big brother Timion, on the other hand, has drawn box one for his return to racing in the Tamworth Jockey Club Handicap over the 1000m.

On top of that, the son of $2 million Easter Yearling Sale purchase Time Thief will carry just 53kg after the claim for Georgina McDonnell.

“He always puts in and he’s drawn the gun barrier so I expect him to run a bold race,’’ Bowen said.

“He is only first-up and he will need the run but I think he will race well over the 1000m while he is still fresh.”

Timion’s trademark consistency was rewarded at his seventh, and ultimately his last, run of his 2020 campaign leading throughout to win at Armidale by a big space.

MORGAN”S SPEEDSTER TO TAKE COMMAND

Prolific trainer Cody Morgan has nominated a horse who ran a distant last at its most recent outing as his best chance on Tuesday’s outstanding card at Tamworth.

Morgan’s gelding Holy Command was having his 20th career start, and his home track debut, in the area’s Championships Qualifying Heat over 1400m on March 7.

“He ran fourth in the Quirindi Lightning from a bad gate and then it was ‘trainer error’. I ran him in the Country Championships second-up off a long break,” Morgan said.

“That probably wasn’t the right move but it’s hard to knock back $150,000 on your home track. He’s come through that well and he trialled really nicely the other day.

“He is back in grade a lot and he looks my best chance on the day.”

Holy Commands’ stablemate Shamusu Sho fared considerably better in last month’s Championship Heat finishing four lengths from the winner, Spiranac, prior to another eye-catcher, this time in a deep Class 3 at Muswellbook.

Trainer Cody Morgan is confident a drop back in distance will suit Holy Command. Photo: Simon Bullard/AAP ImageSource:AAP

“He is back a long way in grade, Morgan said. “All the work riders including myself when I was riding him work have always felt that he is a ten furlong horse.

“It’s not ideal going to 1400m to 2100m but he is walking out of his box and it’s a lead-up race to the Mornington so it will give us a good guide whether he can run the trip.

“It would have been nice to have a bit nicer set up leading into it, maybe a 1800m run. but he gets out the back well and he will conserve a lot of energy and it is not a strong race.”

Morgan has two of the main chances in Tuesday’s TAB.com.au Maiden Handicap (1200m) namely Half Hinch and C’Mon And Love Me.

Half Hinch is a lightly- raced granddaughter of Robert Sangster’s 1987 Blue Diamond winner Midnight Fever while C’Mon And Love Me is a close relation to Gai Waterhouse’s iron-horse, Desert War.

“Half Hinch had a good trial the other day at Scone, she is hard fit and she looks well. It’s just the barrier is a bit of a concern for her,” Morgan noted.

“C’Mon And Love Me goes really well but there is just a little bit of a fitness query, 1200m, with the break and being a short-priced favourite.”

Originally published asTamworth preview: Zakor to show his Magic

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